State audit office finds EVN hiding revenues in other businesses

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The State Audit Office has revealed that the state utility Electricity of Vietnam failed to record thousands of billions dong it earned from other businesses which, if accounted for, would have helped decrease power price.

A report on Tuoi Tre Thursday quoted the office's latest findings as saying that EVN, which raised the average price of power by 5 percent from July 1, in fact, could have decreased its original price by VND34 per kWh.

EVN earned up to VND400 billion (US$19 million) by renting out electrical posts, and selling materials used in electricity production among other power-related businesses, said Le Minh Khai, deputy chief of the State Audit Office.

Not to mention that its profits in other businesses posted more than VND2.9 trillion ($131.18 million), he said, adding that the office has asked the state corporation to review the revenues to report to the Ministry of Finance.

EVN was among the 21 state-owned corporations that the office audited on their 2010 budget last year.

A total of VND21.7 trillion ($1 billion)  was wrongly spent, mis-collected or not recorded at state businesses, according to the audit.

In fact, most of the audited businesses were found not fully declaring the amount of income that they were supposed to submit to the state budget. Most also listed "unreasonable" expenses, Tuoi Tre said.

The businesses were supposed to submit over VND7.5 trillion ($357.36 million) in taxes and other duties as of December 31, 2010.

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The state audit also said the Ministry of Education and Training together with universities like Vietnam National University HCMC, collected more tuition than regulated.

The education ministry earned VND59.1 billion ($2.81 million) from the excessive tuition, it said.

All of 34 provinces and cities audited were found overspending, up to more than 25 percent.

Worse still, nearly 800 billion ($38.1 million) assigned to projects like increasing state employees' salaries were found wrongly spent, according to the report.

The findings also pointed out that more than half of the inspected provinces and cities violated public property regulations.

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